If you are searching for great value wines that are built for food, you would be hard pressed to find better than the Calabria Private Bin range from the Riverina.
True to their Italian roots, most of Calabria’s wines come from “the varieties that end in O” — Vermentino, Pinot Bianco, Prosecco, Aglianico, Nero d’Avola and Montepulciano.
We tend to call these grapes ‘alternative’ but I like to think of them as ‘appropriate’ varieties. They are hardy and suit our growing conditions and are bloody delicious. In that lovely Italian fashion, its varieties are like an extra implement at the dinner table, seamlessly and confidently segueing with food and not demanding too much attention from the drinker. In short; they’re for drinkin’ not thinkin’.
The Montepulciano is jam-packed with ripe, pure fruit. Dark plum and red berry fruits abound along with hints of spice, purple flowers, spiced cherries, freshly cut fennel, light herbal notes and a chocolate edge.
There is a lovely textural density to the fruit in the mouth not often found at this price level. Fine, bright acidity and a sense of ‘pour me another glass’ will have you wondering if there is a hole in the bottle.
Huge bang for buck here. Well worth a mixed-case across the whole Private Bin range as they are cracking wines for the price.